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Questions Answered by Rafael Pagan-Colon
2 Answers | Asked in Personal Injury, Real Estate Law and Civil Rights for Puerto Rico on
Q: Neighbor Balcony above is about to fall - neither neighbor or association board is doing anything. Where can I complain?

Good Day! I live in the Condado in San Juan, Puerto Rico - ocean facing apartment. There is a huge crack in the balcony of my neighbor above me, which directly affects me as my balcony is below. Neighbor and board don't like each other and none of them understand the critical nature of this... View More

Rafael  Pagan-Colon
Rafael Pagan-Colon
answered on Apr 8, 2024

I suggest that you send a complaint letter by certified mail with receipt confirmation, detailing all prior communications, the risk of damage to your property, the risk of danger to passer-bys below, and requiring them to address the matter within the following 15 days. Include photos with the... View More

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1 Answer | Asked in Personal Injury for Puerto Rico on
Q: Can I sue an Airbnb host if I fell and was injured on their property in PR from NYC?

I fell because there was lifted cement that leads to backyard and lost my two front teeth. Someone else in our group fell as well but didn’t sustain injuries

Rafael  Pagan-Colon
Rafael Pagan-Colon
answered on Apr 8, 2024

You can sue the owner of the property where you fell. Puerto Rico rule of law grants one year as the prescriptive term limit within which to take a cause of action before the Puerto Rico courts. You would need to provide proof that the injury occurred in Puerto Rico, by way of hospital records and... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law and Probate for Puerto Rico on
Q: Mom and dad are divorce and both names are on the property in PR, would the property go to my mom if he passes first?

Dad has 2 kids from his first marriage. Mom bought the home while divorced from my dad they remarried and before divorcing again she added him to the property per the lawyer request. If he passes away would my mom be able to sell the property with out any consent from his kids from first marriage... View More

Rafael  Pagan-Colon
Rafael Pagan-Colon
answered on Apr 4, 2024

Having your parents divorced, the home becomes a community property, whereby both of your parents have an equal stake of 50% each. Upon either's death, the deceased parent's participation in the real estate will go to hir/her legal heirs. Prior to transmitting the succession rights, the... View More

2 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law for Puerto Rico on
Q: My mom who is still alive, wants to donate her property and house in Puerto Rico but owes "CRIM", what can be done?

My mom lived in the property and she was still charged by "CRIM", even though it is her only property. She filed for an exemption which she never got an answer back from "CRIM". She wants to donate it to me before she dies and I think it is unfair they charged her taxes, what... View More

Rafael  Pagan-Colon
Rafael Pagan-Colon
answered on Mar 26, 2024

If the property is your mother's primary residence, she'd need to verify whether an exemption was ever made. CRIM provides for an exemption if the real estate property (1) is the owner's primary residence; (2) the home value is <= $150,000; and (3) an exemption was requested from... View More

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1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Puerto Rico on
Q: How can I find land abandoned by my grandmother ?

My great grandfather was a famous architect who gave 13 acres to my grandfather who placed this land into my grandmothers name in which she abandoned after a family tragedy struck where her son (my uncle) murdered her husband my grandfather, she then moved to hoconuco alto and remained there until... View More

Rafael  Pagan-Colon
Rafael Pagan-Colon
answered on Feb 8, 2024

You should start with the names of your great grandfather, the architect, your grandfather, and your grandmother, in two fronts: through the CRIM's digital cadaster, searching by their names. If you find the cadaster #, then proceed to the Property Registry. An agent ("gestor", in... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Puerto Rico on
Q: My living foster mom in PR wants to leave her house to me, she does have one living son but he has no interest in it.

What are the steps to take? Thank you

Rafael  Pagan-Colon
Rafael Pagan-Colon
answered on Feb 2, 2024

Your step-mom can donate the house to you by way of a deed. However, although you express that her one living son has no interest, in the event of your step-mom's passing, the value of all donations made during the final 10 years of her life will be brought back to her estate, and you may find... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Probate for Puerto Rico on
Q: Parents dead, no will. Grandson lived in house until death Dec 2023. 4 chidren 2 dead. Where do we go 4 help on this

House in Bayamon Puerto Rico. How do we claim house

Rafael  Pagan-Colon
Rafael Pagan-Colon
answered on Feb 2, 2024

In the absence of a will, the alternative is to go before the Court of First Instance of Bayamon to petition a declaration of heirs for each dead parent. In the case of the 2 dead children, their offsprings would inherit in their deceased parent's stead. After obtaining the declaration of... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Contracts, Real Estate Law, Elder Law and Landlord - Tenant for Puerto Rico on
Q: Posibilidad de rescindir contrato de arrendamiento con promesa de venta, medie justa causa o no, en Puerto Rico.

Mi mamá hizo un contrato de arrendamiento con promesa de venta a una inquilina, pero mi mamá fue desalojada de un hogar que alquilaba. Por esto, necesita recobrar su propiedad para vivirla. Ella consiguió una casa de emergencia, bajo contrato 'house sitter', pero por 5 meses, y la... View More

Rafael  Pagan-Colon
Rafael Pagan-Colon
answered on Jan 25, 2024

La cláusula de reembolso por mejora surge del Artículo 298 del Código Civil de Puerto Rico de 1930, ahora Artículo 763 del Código Civil de Puerto Rico de 2020. Por lo que usted indicó en su texto anterior, su mamá jamás autorizó la mejora permanente. Esto no es lo mismo a que ella... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Civil Litigation, Contracts, Elder Law and Landlord - Tenant for Puerto Rico on
Q: What is just cause to terminate a contract of promise to sell a property?

My mother, in Puerto Rico, was evicted from a house she rented, and she promised her property to a tenant with a promise of sale, but my mother, 83 years old, needs it to live in. Can her eviction and her age be just cause for not selling the property and recovering it? Additionally, the tenant... View More

Rafael  Pagan-Colon
Rafael Pagan-Colon
answered on Jan 25, 2024

In principle, destructing parts of a leased real estate property, especially if the rental contract has a clause against it, may be grounds for cancelling a lease and evicting the tenant. Your question does not state whether the tenant is the person with whom your mother signed the contract promise... View More

2 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law for Puerto Rico on
Q: My mom owns a home in puerto rico damaged by Hurricane Maria. She wants to transfer deed to me. How and where do I start

I was recently at the house to clean. Lots of damage from the water throughout the inside of the house. She wants to put the house in my name...she still has a small balance on thd house to the bank

Rafael  Pagan-Colon
Rafael Pagan-Colon
answered on Jan 15, 2024

Regardless of the physical state of the real estate property, I would start by recommending that your mother request a cancellation balance certification from the bank, as of the end of February 2024, to identify how small is the balance. Also, I would recommend procuring a registry certification... View More

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1 Answer | Asked in Family Law, Estate Planning and Real Estate Law for Puerto Rico on
Q: Our parents are deceased and they left us a house. There was 8 of us but one of our brothers passed.

We are all on agreement to sell the house except my deceased bothers’s kids. They never lived in PR, they live in the states. Can we sell the house without their consent? We are definitely giving them my brother’s portion of the sale.

Rafael  Pagan-Colon
Rafael Pagan-Colon
answered on Jan 4, 2024

You cannot sell an hereditary estate when one or more heirs are against the sale. It has to be a unanimous consent; or else, you'll need to go before the Puerto Rico Courts. This would be the legitimate way to anull your nephews' and/or nieces' lack of consent. Living in the states,... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law, Estate Planning and Probate for Puerto Rico on
Q: My father passed. I soon found out he owed CREM. Am I responsible for paying it?
Rafael  Pagan-Colon
Rafael Pagan-Colon
answered on Dec 28, 2023

The Puerto Rico rule of law defines a deceased person's estate as made up of the deceased's assets and liabilities. As such, any and all debts owed by the deceased person and/or by his (her) estate must be assumed by his (her) heirs up to the amount inherited. Thus, the to answer your... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning, Banking and Probate for Puerto Rico on
Q: My Dad gave his sister authorization in his bank account. The day after my Dad passed my aunt took money from his acct.

All the arrangements had been prepaid by him and my sisters and I paid for the remaining items. After obtaining the Declaration of Heirs, we found out about the money withdrawn by my aunt when the money was not hers. I spoke to the bank and they said she was authorized on the account and had the... View More

Rafael  Pagan-Colon
Rafael Pagan-Colon
answered on Dec 18, 2023

Except that your aunt had a legitimate reason for taking the money out of the account (for which she'd need to present receipts), your late dad's estate is owner of those moneys until the probate processes are completed. Either by your father having left a will or going through the Puerto... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law and Contracts for Puerto Rico on
Q: A Florida company bought the property management company managing my property located in PR. Where can I file suit?

Property is in Puerto Rico, transactions occurred online and they kept the money paid to them by my guests. Not all but some.

Rafael  Pagan-Colon
Rafael Pagan-Colon
answered on Dec 18, 2023

Your question does not state your cause of action for suing. Given that the company is in Florida, I'm assuming that they have no presence in Puerto Rico. In that scenario, diversity of (state) citizenship stipulates that you'd need to file the lawsuit in the Federal Court for the... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Puerto Rico on
Q: My grandparents passed away over 20 ago and in their will they stated that the home would belong to one of my uncles

And the property would be split among all the siblings. The only surviving child is my father. Would like to know who is now the rightful owner of the house and property. The property is currently vacant and looking to sell it. This property is in Puerto Rico

Rafael  Pagan-Colon
Rafael Pagan-Colon
answered on Nov 2, 2023

You need to verify the real estate property's status in the Puerto Rico Property Registry: were your grandparents' wills filed to transfer ownership to their children (your father, aunts, and uncles)? Assuming that the transfer was completed, an adjudication deed would've need to be... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Child Support for Puerto Rico on
Q: Pension alimentaria a joven de 18 que no estudia.

Bajo las leyes de Puerto Rico, un joven de 18 años, graduado hace un año (2022) de esc superior, no continuó estudios universitarios, no trabaja, tiene derecho a recibir pensión alimentaria hasta los 21 años?

Rafael  Pagan-Colon
Rafael Pagan-Colon
answered on Oct 27, 2023

En Puerto Rico, todo joven menor de 21 años se considera menor de edad; y, por lo tanto, acreedor a pensión alimentaria. Si la pensión es a través de ASUME o fue establecida por orden del tribunal, aún si llega a los 21 años, la suspensión de la pensión no es automática; y requiere que... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Tax Law and Real Estate Law for Puerto Rico on
Q: My dad wants to donated his house to me and my 2 sibling are in agreement. Do I have to pay any kind of taxes?

The house is located in Puerto Rico.

Rafael  Pagan-Colon
Rafael Pagan-Colon
answered on Oct 24, 2023

Any real estate property located in Puerto Rico that does not constitute your primary residence is subject to property taxes. If the property currently belongs to your father and is his primary residence, he may have requested a tax exemption from the Municipal Income Collections Center... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Puerto Rico on
Q: 2 siblings inherit a home in PR. One of the siblings past away. Said sibling who past away was married although had been

Separated for years! Perhaps now she’s a forced inherited? She’s an alcoholic, mentally unstable and unable to understand. How can the other living sibling take her out of the forced inheritance to be able to sell the house?

Rafael  Pagan-Colon
Rafael Pagan-Colon
answered on Aug 29, 2023

If the deceased sibling died after November 28, 2020, his spouse inherits along with any descendants he may have left. Now, if the deceased sibling died before November 28, 2020, his spouse would still inherit an annuity equal to a simple share of a third of his estate, equal to what any other heir... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Puerto Rico on
Q: My father passed away last year (2022) in Puerto Rico. How do I find out if a Will was left and if I was named?
Rafael  Pagan-Colon
Rafael Pagan-Colon
answered on Aug 29, 2023

Assuming that your late father lived and died in Puerto Rico, and having a copy of your father's death certificate, a request can be made to the Office of Notary Inspections ("ODIN", by its Spanish acronym), with whom are filed all the wills subscribed in the Commonwealth of Puerto... View More

2 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law for Puerto Rico on
Q: I'm selling a house in Puerto Rico but I'm in NY. The house is inherited by my mother and 6 children of adult age.

Not all can attend so we are using power of attorney. Why would the lawer ask for copies of our driver's licenses. when the notarized documents and the authentication at The Country Clerk's office is done in NY.

Rafael  Pagan-Colon
Rafael Pagan-Colon
answered on Aug 29, 2023

Although you're appearing for the sale through one or more power(s) of attorney, the notary is required to give faith that he/she has identified you, given that (a) he/she does not personally know you, and (b) he/she has no witnesses on hand to give faith of personal knowledge of you as... View More

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